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  • James Fan

Cars are here to stay, but they will never be the same

In 2012, Lamborghini introduced the Aventador, a fire-spitting, blindingly yellow V12 monster of a car, possibly in defiance of the Mayans’ belief that the world would end that year. Similarly, Dodge previewed the Viper, a 8.4 liter V10 supercar. Plainly, the automotive world had chosen to defy the warnings that the end was near. Fast forward 10 years, and the automotive world is still stuck in place. Pagani, Bugatti, and Lamborghini have all released new gas-powered cars, further accelerating the path to the end of the world.

It turns out that the Mayans were extremely ill-advised, as evidenced by their extinction. In the intervening years past 2012, the world would suffer a pandemic and the beginning of new significant conflicts. At no time did the Earth suddenly explode. In spite of all of that, car culture is still looked upon as a childish hobby. Gearheads are now forced to quietly gather at cars & coffee events to talk about chassis codes and engine noises. Liking cars is uncool, especially for the young generation, who see sports cars as the polished tools of the Devil. So for me, it’s quite difficult to admit that cars are integral to my interests for fear of them shying away and deciding to endlessly scroll down TikTok’s For You page instead.

Driving a car is more than just transportation. It’s an experience every single time. Just the action of getting into the car assaults the senses with so many different details. The smell of the leather seat. The clunk of the door. The engine, doing a cold start and roaring to life. These are details that will never be possible with an electric car. The climax of this experience is the Lexus LFA. For seven hours, I got to drive this finely crafted machine, and it cemented my love for cars. Yamaha, the piano maker, collaborated with Lexus to make the howling V10 engine, and then specifically tuned parts of the car, designing the engine firewall (the area between the driver and the engine), the noise-cancellation, and the speakers to maximize the aural experience.

As a result, the car sounds like a peacock’s traumatized scream, revving to 9,000 rpm, which is much higher than cars normally rev to because it’s not necessary for normal operation. The engine spins from idle to the redline in just six-tenths of a second. That is equivalent to the time it takes to count a number with your fingers. In lower gears, the car whines as if it is an animal being caged and prodded by a bored captor. Unleash the engine and the car shrieks, freed of its shackles and given the opportunity to do what it wants to do.

However, the great engine does not excuse the fact it is not a practical car. Firstly, there are no cup holders, something I discovered to great pain as I squeezed the car through a Starbucks in the morning on a cold and rainy LA morning. I was forced to buy a plasticky $5 cup holder attachment that rested on the air vents, which meant there was no air conditioning.

Despite all these flaws, a car is more important than just some nut and bolts. It is the ultimate expression of emotion, an extension of style which reflects the small details in someone's personality.


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